Here’s a cool one for you smartphone users — our friend Andreas over at London Cyclist just released “Bike Doctor”, an app for iPhone, iPad and Android devices. This app guides users through over 40 of the most common bicycle repairs:
Have you ever tried to sell a bike on Craigslist? RL reports decent success with it, but I’ve never had any luck. In fact, the one time I tried it, my first and ONLY response was the classic Nigerian “box up and ship your bike and I will Western-Union you $1000” scam.
Lord knows we’ve all heard horror stories about Craigslist buyers…lowballers, creeps, odd trades suggested, etc. No thanks.
I recently learned that Ebay has a free classifieds app for smartphones, so I downloaded it to try out (Ebay Classifieds is also available on the web, of course). I was contacted by the PR firm that handles Ebay Classifieds and other mobile apps, and they provided the following information:
With technology at our fingertips, the merging of social, mobile and local has help shaped e-commerce by making purchasing and selling a simple, real-time solution. This trend is reflected in the steady increase of eBay Classifieds’ mobile app users, which have just surpassed over half a million downloads – with bicycle and bicycle parts as one the most popular transactions (my emphasis).
On that note, eBay Classifieds’ mobile app is a free, seamless solution for local classifieds and listings. For users, the process is simple:
Sellers: point, shoot, sell
Buyers: download, search, purchase
Avoid scams generated from users on sites like Craigslist
What are the key features of eBay Classifieds’ mobile app solution?
Local and convenient: sellers can list high value items you wouldn’t necessarily want to ship
Frictionless solution in a mobile environment: reduces the friction between listing an item (ex. bicycles, bicycle accessories) and enables people to post anywhere with their smartphone
Supports excess capacity/conscious living
The app is quick downloading and easy to use…you can browse ads or create/post them, and it’s all free of transaction costs (and presumably Nigerian scammers). Here are a couple of screenshots I took of my phone:
The app works quickly and seems very stable so far. Creating an ad to list is easy…just follow the steps and go. Browsing listings is a piece of cake, too…select an area and a category or use keywords to search. Ebay made the interface very simple to follow.
If you’re looking to sell off a bike, or you simply like to browse classified listings for your next ride, Ebay Classifieds might be worth a look. Unfortunately, my single listing hasn’t attracted any attention from potential buyers, so, if you’re in the Dayton area and are looking for a really nice fixed-gear bike, check out my listing…wink, wink.
You may know Lojack as the service that locates lost or stolen cars. But what about bicycles? I’m not sure if people care nor have a need for such a device, but as someone who has had a bike stolen, the Prey app for phones, laptops, and tablets is intriguing. It was created for use with an old smartphone in mind but should you have left your new device on your bike, that new device can also track the bike.
I’m sure plenty of other apps are similar to this. And other theft-deterrant options are available like ReuiniteIT by Lojack. Be sure to mention them in the comments below if you know.
Is it necessary to use an old phone? No. But the idea is, if you’re going to lose a smartphone, it might as well be your old one and not the new Iphone 5 or Samsung Galaxy S III.
Click here, to find out more about this open source anti-theft project, Prey.
Editor’s note: We have an unofficial policy here at Bikecommuters.com not to publish articles about “crowdfunded” bike gear/trips/accessories…we field about 10 or 15 a week, on average, and frankly, very few of them are all that compelling. The following, however, is a project that is quite compelling and we are bending our own rules to let you know about it. Read on:
We got an email and presskit from Jonathan Gates, designer at ICEdot.org. They are currently in the midst of developing a very novel setup for bicyclists, outdoorspeople or anyone else who may need such a device. Basically,
The Crash Sensor is a slim device that will mount as an aftermarket device onto any helmet. When paired with the ICEdot app on a smart phone, the system is able to detect motion, changes in forces and impacts.
In the event of an impact, the device sends critical data to the app which sounds an alarm and initiates an emergency countdown. Unless the countdown clock is stopped, the app will then notify your emergency contacts and send GPS coordinates of the incident so that appropriate follow up actions can be taken.
ICEdot is conducting a fixed funding campaign via Indiegogo. You can visit their funding page by clicking here.
The first component is a small “puck” (the sensor itself) that attaches to the helmet:
And, of course, there’s the smartphone app it communicates with via Bluetooth:
As we mentioned, this could be a very cool device, especially for bike commuters who have to travel the “unbeaten path”, or commute at night…in the event of an emergency, ICEdot’s sensor and app could save lives. We’re all hoping ICEdot is successful with their funding campaign, and if you want to help out, swing over to their Indigogo page and do so.
Hello Smartphone-using Bike Commuters of the world! For all of you who have data plans and phones with fun-fun apps for bike commuting, check out this guest article submitted by BikeCommuters.com reader, Jane Johnson . Read on!
somewhat relevant photoshop madness presented by Mir.I.Am
Great apps to make your commute safer and more enjoyable
Bike commuting is a great way to be self-reliant, get in shape, and help the environment; and with music, GPS, and bike computer apps, smartphones can offer the “modern conveniences” of a car without the headache and expense. Whether you commute for ethics, exercise, or economics, these apps for Android and iPhone can make it easier and more fun.
This is a general fitness tracker app, but the cycling functionality is superb. In addition to the basics that all the above apps track, Endomondo also monitors calories based on your reported fitness information. It also has support for external heart rate monitors, if you want to go crazy with it. Where this app really shines, though, is the social support to which it connects you. If you’re not competitive, it might not have much to offer you—but if the chance to beat your friends in endurance or speed challenges excites you, Endomondo’s a great way to get motivated. Get a couple buddies signed up, and compete to be the Champion of a given route or trail (sort of like being Mayor of a location on Foursquare), or try to top each other’s personal best. Like Cyclemeter, it also offers voice feedback as you reach milestones, and it tops this list because it’s comprehensive, attractive, and free.
This is a great repair primer for any bike commuter. If you depend on your bike to get to and from work, you’ll wear out parts faster than the average weekend warrior, and obviously you’ll be in a tougher spot if you have a breakdown. Fortunately, repairs on a typical workhorse road bike are relatively simple and inexpensive. With this app and a good multi-tool handy, you can walk through 24 of the most common repairs your bike might need, with step-by-step written instructions and a video tutorial. If you like the independence and affordability of commuting, this app can help you be even more self-reliant.
If you commute for the fitness benefits, this app will help you better track and record your performance. It monitors your distance, elevation, and speed, with charts that map your performance over time. As your strength increases, you can watch your progress in speed and endurance—a powerful motivator to continue improving. Similar apps are abundant, but the kicker here is Cyclemeter’s safety feature: to keep your eyes on the road, you can set the app to make periodic voice announcements for anything you want to track—for instance, you might set it to report every mile traveled, or every five, or let you know when you’ve hit your target speed. If you’re not too out of breath, you can also request an update on the fly.
This app is designed to make your smartphone a handlebar-mounted bike computer, with GPS, odometer, and speedometer in large, bold text so you can easily keep track at a glance (here’s an example of a cheap handlebar mount for LG phones). With your phone snapped into the mount, you’ve got constant access to the basics (speed, trip duration, distance traveled, etc.) as well as more specific readings like pace (in minutes per mile), idle time, total uphills and downhills, bearing, maximum speed, and more. It has attractive virtual gauges and an easy to use interface. The only real concern for this one is safety—it’s loaded with features, but wait till you’ve arrived to play around with it.
Bio: Jane Johnson is a writer for GoingCellular, a popular site that provides cell phone related news, commentary, reviews on popular providers like T-Mobile.
Thanks for submitting your article, Jane. And to our readers, if you have used any of these apps, tell us what you think! Any other Bike Commuter specific apps that are helpful, fun, or an absolute necessity on your daily rides? Let us know in the comments box below.
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